New gym opens in Buckhannon

BUCKHANNON – Local residents looking to take up a new athletic hobby as part of their New Year’s resolutions might be interested in Body Armor Mixed Martial Arts, a recently opened business in Buckhannon.

At Body Armor MMA, students have the opportunity to learn Brazilian Jiu Jitsu and mixed martial arts and may compete in national championship competitions. Owner Chad Marsh said cage fighting is like competing in a ring, similar to the Ultimate Fighting Championship, or UFC, only the fighting actually takes place in a cage instead.

“Some places still use rings,” Marsh said, “but most of the places where we fight are cages.”

Body Armor MMA students who are learning Brazilian Jiu Jitsu already have competed and won four gold, two silver and two bronze awards during Jiu Jitsu competitions since the business opened about three months ago, Marsh said.

Marsh said the sport gives children an activity to do in Buckhannon and the mixed martial arts business is the only one of its kind in the city.

“There was really nothing around here for kids to do like that,” Marsh said. “I’ve been training for seven years, and I had to travel to train. I thought I’d just open up here where people don’t have to travel as far as I did to train.”

Body Armor MMA is located at 6 Market Square in Buckhannon in the same shopping plaza as NTELOS. There is no limit on class size as of now, and the classes usually take place in the evening to allow school-aged children and working adults a chance to participate and learn the art.

Body Armor MMA offers lessons for all ages from youth to adult. Marsh said that there are no specific age limits, but participants must be able to listen, understand and take directions from their instructor and not have any outstanding health problems that could jeopardize their safe participation in the sport. For additional information email

Contact Melissa Toothman by email at